Cakes/ Dessert/ Recipes

Easy Tres Leches Cake Recipe


Tres leches cake - PIN Image

This traditional Tres Leches Cake Recipe will turn heads and make your taste buds dance with enjoyment! When you taste this sweet homemade tres leches cake for the first time, your heart may skip a beat. 

Easy Tres Leches Cake Recipe

It’s a rich, delicious Mexican sponge cake that is a crowd-pleaser. This is the best tres leches cake for parties because everyone raves about it. I have grown up eating this easy tres leches cake and new that it was time I shared it with you. I can’t wait for you to taste it and have a new favorite dessert. 

What Is Tres Leches Cake?

Tres leches cake is also called three milk cake because it’s been made with three different kinds of milk. My recipe for this simple tres leches cake has heavy cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk. Many people refer to it as a Mexican milk cake, and it has a very sponge-like texture. It has a texture that resembles an angel food cake and is sweet and delicious. 

best tres leches cake on plate with bite out of it

Tres Leches Cake Ingredients

You only need 12 ingredients to make this easy tres leches cake. The spongy cake has a tres leches cake frosting that is mindblowing good too. It’s tempting to eat the frosting with a spoon!

For the Milk Mixture

  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Evaporated milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Vanilla extract

For the Cake

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Unsalted butter
  • Whole milk
  • Eggs, room temperature
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract

For the Frosting

  • Heavy cream
  • Corn syrup
  • Vanilla extract

How To Make Tres Leches Cake

This milk-soaked tres leches recipe is pretty simple to make. While it doesn’t require tons of effort, it’s worth every second that you put into it. Here are the easy directions so you can eat this homemade tres leches cake soon!

First Step: Prepare the milk mixture by placing the condensed milk in a large microwave-safe bowl. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave on low power. Stir and replace plastic every 3-5 minutes. The condensed milk should be slightly darkened and thicker, which takes around 9-15 minutes. Remove the condensed milk from the microwave and slowly whisk in the evaporated milk, cream, and vanilla. Set the milk mixture aside and cool to room temperature. 

Second Step: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking pan by greasing the sides and bottom. Dust a little flour into the pan and tap out any excess. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Heat the butter and milk until the butter melts in a small saucepan over low heat. Once butter melts, remove from heat and set aside. 

Third Step: Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs for 30 seconds on medium speed. Slowly add in the sugar and whisk until incorporated. Then increase the speed to medium-high. The egg mixture should be very thick and glossy after about 5-7 minutes. Reduce the speed back to low and mix in melted butter and vanilla. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture by adding in a little bit at a time, then scraping down the sides. Use medium speed and mix until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan with a spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Once the cake is done, transfer to a wire rack and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. 

Fourth Step: Using a fork, skewer or wooden spoon, poke holes ever half an inch all over the top of the cake. Pour milk mixture slowly over the entire cake until it’s completely absorbed. Allow the cake 15 minutes to set out. Refrigerate the cake uncovered at least 3 hours all the way up to 24 hours. 

Fifth Step: Take the cake out of the fridge around 30 minutes before serving. Using a stand mixer beat the heavy cream, corn syrup, and vanilla on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form. Frost the cake with the tres leches cake frosting and slice. 

piece of ready to serve tres leches cake

What Is The Difference Between Evaporated Milk And Sweetened Condensed Milk?

The main difference between evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk is that evaporated milk doesn’t have sugar. Sweetened condensed milk is very sugary and is perfect for desserts. Evaporated milk can be used in desserts as well as savory dishes too.

You wouldn’t want to replace evaporated milk with sweetened condensed milk because it may be too sweet to eat. You can, however, add sugar to evaporated milk to use it in place of sweetened condensed milk. 

How Do You Store This Best Tres Leches Cake?

You can refrigerate the homemade tres leches cake for 3-4 days. I find that I have the best luck when I add the frosting right before serving. Otherwise, you may find that the homemade frosting will flatten out and soak into the cake. Because it’s a whipped style frosting, it can deflate a little bit. Keep the cake covered as you store it, and it will last pretty good. 

Can You Freeze Homemade Tres Leches Cake?

Yes, you can freeze the homemade tres leches cake itself. Not the milk mixture or the frosting. Freeze the cake after it’s been tightly wrapped, and it will last 1-2 months in the freezer. When you are ready to serve the cake, you’ll need to place it in the fridge to defrost. Then poke holes and add in the milk mixture and let it sit for several hours in the refrigerator. Then top with frosting before serving. 

tres leches cake on plate

Now, remember to save this recipe on Pinterest for later 🙂

Tres Leches Cake


Tres Leches Cake

Easy Tres Leches Cake Recipe

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  • Author: Laura
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Serves 12 1x


Simple sponge cake soaked in a mixture of “three milks” (heavy cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk).



For the Milk Mixture:

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. For the milk mixture: Pour condensed milk into large microwave-safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on low power, stirring and replacing plastic every 3 to 5 minutes, until slightly darkened and thickened, about 9 to 15 minutes. Remove bowl from microwave and slowly whisk in evaporated milk, cream, and vanilla. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  2. For the cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of a 13 by 9-inch baking pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In small saucepan over low heat, heat butter and milk until butter is melted; remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs on medium speed for about 30 seconds, then slowly add sugar until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until egg mixture is very thick and glossy, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly mix in melted butter mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, scraping down bowl as necessary, then mix on medium speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.
  4. Using a skewer, poke holes at 1/2-inch intervals in top of cake. Slowly pour milk mixture over cake until completely absorbed. Let sit at room temperature 15 minutes, then refrigerate uncovered for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  5. For the frosting: Remove cake from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat heavy cream, corn syrup, and vanilla to soft peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. Frost cake and slice into 3-inch squares. (The assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

  • Category: dessert

Keywords: tres leches cake recipe, best tres leches cake, easy tres leches cake, homemade tres leches cake

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